May 10th, 2008 | Other Projects, Sketch Diary
In amidst the recent strands about Bob Dylan’s and Joan Baez’s relationship, knitting and drinking, the etymology of “shambolic,” and self-inflicted haircuts, there’s been an insistent thread about fan-fic. As well as actual submissions of it–another one just in, see below.
This was touched off by my whiny video apologizing for not having the next strip done on time.
But it’s weird, because I’ve had a thought gestating about fan-fic. As one small module of a much larger thought I’ve been having about taking an official sabbatical from the strip. I’ve been mulling this over for weeks now, weighing the pros and cons, alternating between panic and relief, but I think I’m really gonna do it.
I also expected that I would make a coherent, carefully worded post about all my reasons instead of this kind of half-assed one. But it’s a big topic, and I expect I’ll be continuing to discuss it in many upcoming posts.
I haven’t even announced this to my newspapers yet. But here’s the rough outline of my plan.
I’m going to take an unspecified amount of time off from the strip so I can get my next memoir [Love Life: A Case Study] written and drawn by the fall 2009 deadline. It’s absolutely terrifying to me to consider this–I’ve been doing DTWOF at regular intervals since I was 23, and it’s become a sort of autonomic bodily function, always going on. Also, it seems crazy to give up a source of income, but the sad truth is, my income from the strip has taken a steep dive over the past couple of years. So it doesn’t represent as big a financial strain as it would have in the past. I’ve been losing lots of newspapers, and a disturbing proportion of the ones I still have are having trouble paying.
I’ve got one more episode in the hopper, #527. I’ll get it up next week. Interestingly, it’s about Sydney going on sabbatical. I find that if I think of my own break as a sabbatical—time off from one job to focus intensely (and temporarily) on another—it makes the idea of stopping more bearable.
There are all sorts of other things to consider–there are a bunch of people who’ve made contributions to the site, payment for reading the strip here regularly. I’ll figure out how to do pro-rated refunds to everyone.
I totally want to keep the blog going, if that’s possible. I guess we’ll see if it continues to hold peoples’ interest. One idea I had toward this end was to open it up to you guys, to having people write or draw stories about what the characters might be up to during my hiatus. I know the novelty of that might wear off soon, but it seemed like an interesting possibility. I guess we’ll see how it all evolves.
For now, here’s an awesome strip submitted by Tana Ford. Also, interestingly, on the theme of vacations.